Monday, November 29, 2010


Is food habits related to religion? It is an accepted fact that majority of Hindus are vegetarians. Most of us see this in religious and emotional perspective. But it will be interesting to probe into the scientific aspects behind it.

Some historians think Indians do not eat beef because we were mainly an agrarian country with cattle being our major workforce, be it be ploughing, extracting oil from oil seed including coconut, and also means of transportation. The plains of India being very flat (Indo-Gangetic plain and Deccan Plateau) cattle was widely used to transport even long distances which is not possible in hilly terrains. In ancient and middle-ages barring Kings and nobles, most people chose to travel on bullock carts. This also paved for our inefficiency of breeding good horses which caused us dearly in battles with Mongols and Mugals which re-wrote the history of India.

If Indians were to eat beef it would have been suicidal for our economy. As meat is always tempting for the palate, the scholars of the ancient time, gave it a religious hue by calling cow holy. Best way to frighten people is to attribute divinity to cow. So the concept of 'GO maatha' came.

But other livestock like sheep and goat Indians eat, may be they are less bulky animals and it is easy to devour (after cooking). Slaughtering a cow sometimes many not be practical for a family as there were no methods of preservation or refrigeration. In higher latitude, especially in winter (even now in rural Russia) they have open area areas for preserving beef and pork as temperature from November to March drop below zero. India being a tropical country with high humidity there is always chance of meat getting spoiled.

More than religion and sentiments it is availability of food that matter. As testimoned by Bengalis (Including Brahmins) eating fish. Kerala because of its geographical situation and alliances with Middd-East and western world it is not a surprise that 90% of the population is non-vegetarian. With such abundance of lakes and rivers, it is logical to expect majority to be fish mongers as well. There was a time when fish used to be cheaper than vegetables in Kerala. When you have such easily available source of protein and fat why to stick to a vegetarian diet.

For a religious Muslim, it is 'haram' to take anything porcine. There are some scientific explanation for this. First of all pork is a major carrier of several helminths like roundworm, pinwom, hookworm and most dangerous all, Taenia solium or tapeworm. It is a common knowledge that one needs to boil pork for significant amount of time to kill the larvae of any helminth within pork. When considering the arid condition of Arabian Peninsula and the scanty supply of firewood to cook; makes it an item to reject. Nor they had pressure cookers then. Moreover because of high amounts of fat in pork there is a fair chance of cholesterol being deposited in our arteries and ending up in a myocardial infarction or stroke. In cooler places fat will be digested easily without getting deposited in the body.

Ecologically speaking there are some points to be noted with feeding habit of pigs. A continuously growing tusks (the canine teeth) serve as weapons and tools their feeding. This tusks helps them to churns up the ground and feed even the roots of all plants / trees. And this is especially important to the flora of desert as many trees / plants survive harsh tropical climate of desert by storing food in root and also as a mode of reproduction. And if pigs / boars were given a free run in Arabia it would have hastened the desertification process and could have caused doom to whole Arabian peninsula.

Tailpiece: Medically People with insulin-dependent diabetes usually inject with pig insulin.

ഈ ലിങ്ക് കാണുക

Saturday, November 27, 2010


The incidence of piles is on the rise now a days. The reasons attributed are our sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercise coupled with erratic & unhealthy food habits. According to modern medicine piles or hemorrhoids are dilated or swollen veins which some scientist attribute as a penalty for our erect posture. Modern medicine categorize piles from degree I to IV.

Management of piles have been a problem from time immemorial. Ayurveda has included piles under 'maha gataa' (disease which is hard to treat). At the same time there are many excellent methods in the management of piles (especially first and second degree piles).

First method is by controlling food habits and activities (Ahaara and vihaara). According to ayurveda piles is caused by indigestion of food. When the life-force of digestion/excretion (apana vaayu) is not able to digest and eliminate food properly piles are formed. So first line of management is eating food which are not 'hot potent' (ushna veerya). In simple term avoid foods like chicken, beef and pork, eggs from you diet. At the same time one can include buttermilk, items like yam (Amorphophallus paeoniifolius) in food. This will difinitely help to get rid of nascent piles. Eat more food with lot of fibre in it and drink plenty of water so that constipation never sets in. Neglecting a recurrent constipation is an open invitation for piles in your body.

Secondly keep guard on your activities, never do job sitting for long. Take occasioanal breaks once in every 45 minutes if you are doing a desk-bound job. Do some stretching if possible. Travelling long distance in vehicles like bikes should also be discouraged. Always sit on a chair with plenty of aeration (coushins) so that your butts does not get heated too much. Recent studies have shown that even the usage of laptops (if placed on lap) can heat our body to a level which can trigger/aggrivate piles formation. So place laptop on your 'desk top' if you are workin on it for long.

If one is willing to do some asanas (postures) mentioned in yoga that can also help a patient. Poses like sarvangasana (shoulder stand), pavana muktha asana (knee-to-head posture starting fron supinate position), salabhasana (butterfly pose) and sheersasana can help you to get rid of piles.

On the medicinal level there are some medicines like 'chirivilwadi decoction', ahbayarishtam, and tablets like kankayanam gulika which can help in first/second degree piles. But remember these are medicines and one must not use these medz without consulting an ayurveidic doctor. Even a health tonic like 'thriphala' can be considered as medicine for piles.

Apart from these there are some procedures called 'khsara sutra' whch will help eliminate piles without undegoing a surgery. But, beware this (piles treatment without operation) is one area dominated by qwaks who makes tall claims and cheat poeple.

As a last resort one can opt for surgical removal after consulting a surgeon who is adept in ths sort of disease. Only a suregon with experice can able to do a piles surgery efficiently. Even in diagnosis an expert hand (read finger) can find out the degree of piles. Some times a doctor may also be able to send a patient for biopsy in an unliklly event of colon cancer which often mimics piles in symptoms.

Latest techonogies have come like laser surgery which can be done without the loss of blood and other tissues. For advanced degrees of piles it is mandatory to have surgery done.

Piles is one disease which will re-emerge even after surgical managemnt. So it is advisable to stick to a diet and activity which will not trigger piles formation once again.

Friday, November 26, 2010


Many a doctor inluding Ayurvedic and Homeopaths are still using the 'red cross' as symbol in their vehicles and clinics. But is it ethical to use 'red cross' symbol?

The 'red-cross' symbol belongs to Red Cross International. It is a symbol which abides international treaty and is restricted by US law. In Muslim-majority countries red cross is replaced by red-crescent.

What doctors use now of two snakes is from Greek Mythology and even that is mistakenly referred to Caduceus which actually is wrong. The magical wand with two entwined snakes is actually 'Rod of Asclepius' who used to treat patients by travelling.

It is interesting to note that the symbol of Kundalini is also somewhat same. The great physician of ancient India, Charaka (word meaning of 'charaka' is 'person on move.) also treated patients by travelling, rather than practicing in one place. May be Greeks got this idea from India after Alexander's Invation of India.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Ancient Indian knowledge (Including Ayurveda) says that combination of honey and ghee/milk is poison or toxic. The honey is a naturally occurring material which is rich in fructose 35-40%, glucose 25-35% and to lesser extent sucrose and maltose. Honey also contains some minerals which are not normally seen in other sweets. Apart from this it contains Clostridium botulinum, a bacteria. Milk is considered to be the best medium for bacteria to grow and multiply. So when honey is mixed with milk or milk products these bacteria multiply and then in turn produce some toxins which is not at all good for the body.

This is what the ancient Buddhist text on Ayurveda, Ashtanga Hrudaya says

"मधु सर्प्पिर वसा तैल पनीयानी द्विशस्त्रिश:
एकत्र वा समाम्शेना विरुद्यानते परस्परं
भिन्नाम्शे अपि..."

Honey in combination with ghee, animal fat, vegetable oils, mixed in 1:1 ratio is poison, or all the combination of these in equal or un-equal proportions can also become incompatible combination (विरुध आहारं).

Another reason for these combination becoming poison is that honey is a complex polysaccaride which requires special enzymes for its break up to be used as simple sugars and ghee is a complex chain of fatty acids which requires emulsification an and action of lipase and other lipid breaking enzymes which in combination interact with one another within our GI tract which leads to indigestion and formation of aama (आमं). This can cause too much accumulation of free radicals within our systems which is the cause of many an illness including cancers.

Honey produced by honey bee contains saliva and intestinal enzymes which generally are protein in nature.
The nectar from flower are polysaccarides carbohydrates which will be broken down to monosaccarides depends how long the enzyme worked and the concentration also.

Nectar from flowers are
colourles, transparent and less viscous than bee honey. The natuer has carefully done this to help the bee and butterflies to suck it from flower safely without sticking. Otherwise bees and flies would be trapped in the flower which ultimately prevent pollination because bees will not approach the flower trap.

Honey when kept for long or frozen as happens in highter latitudes become crystals.

Enzymes are proteins unchanged in mild heat, but when heating directly the enzyme can be precipitated or can undergo glycation also. This can lead the honey becoming toxic.

Research Courtsey: Dr.Sankaran,
Gonobiswabidyalay University, Bangladesh.


How men can improve libido

Generally speaking ability of men in sex diminishes as age goes on. It decline gradually with age in human beings. The clinical significance of this decrease is debated. This is because the 'improvement is a tricky word as it can be used subjectively. It depends from person to person. Generally speaking one who can indulge in healthy sexual relation with less time for repeated orgasm is considered good. It appears as though nature apparently is biased as far as enjoying sex, women seem to enjoy sex better than men if orgasm is taken as a criteria.

To improve ones libido (sexual desire and functioning) there are various methods. One is relying on medicines (read drugs) like Viagra which helps to maintain a better erection by making the vascular muscle in the spongy area inside the penis engorged with blood for a longer period of time. But like any other drug it comes at a prize, a person uses this can have serious vascular problems including cardiac problems later on.

Best way to improves sex is to rely on food that have an effect on our sexual hormones, especially testosterone. One can include all "Vajeekarana" (aphrodisiac) food items like chicken, pork, eggs, marine/fresh-water mussels, almost all shell fishes, and almond (badam).

And there are some herbs mentioned in Ayurvedic preparations like Aswagandha rasayanam which includes like Withania somnifera (ashwagandha) and Milky Yam (Vidari).

And in ayurveda an oil named 'Aswagandha tailam' can be used to massage the penis and increase its size. A massage with lard (pig fat) can also improve this. Make sure that you don't ejacualte in this process.

Third way is something surprising, I am sure that this will raise many an eyebrow among our readers. This is stirring a hornet's nest. It is YOGA, yoga practices of Asanas (postures) and pranayama (breathing methodology) will help one to keep all his systems balanced and all hormones working in proper way. Asanas especially like Bhujangasana and Mayoorasana will help us to enhance our libido by incresing our testosterone level. With due respect to seers of yoga I write this. In true yoga one is advised to practice brahmacharya which does not in full sense mean 'celibacy' in translation. Even rightful sex can be included for a married person (faithful sex) practicing brahmacharya.

In Ayurveda there is whole chapter with is dedicated to sexual medicine or 'Vajeekarana." But the chapter begins with a salutation to 'brahmacharya' saying that superior sex gives pleasure only in this life, where as 'brahmacharya' will give you credit both in this life and afterbirth ('Iha LOK and PARA LOK")